California SB 798 - The "Kill" BillNot to be confused with the Tarantino movie franchise, CA SB 798 is a "Kill" bill in that it will kill Airsoft.
It will kill law enforcement officers.
It will kill jobs.
It will kill tax revenue for the federal and state government (and a lot of it, as I mapped out in an earlier blog).
It will create the perception among kids that Airsoft Guns, having the ability to propel a BB hard enough to SHATTER a car window (I've done it, unfortunately), are toys. This is all bad. Airsoft guns are not toys for children, nor should they appear like they're meant for children. Children's toys don't fire projectiles hard enough to cause blindness, break thick glass and pierce skin. Airsoft guns are dangerous in the hands of an untrained, uneducated and/or irresponsible individual, regardless of age. While I have referred to them as "toys" in the past, they're technically toys meant for RESPONSIBLE adults (some adults are not responsible, so I have to clarify that) who know better than to brandish (show) them in public, like the three young boys did back in December. Why else would there be a federally mandated law requiring the purchaser of an Airsoft gun to be over the age of 18?
This guy might have a smile on his face, but this is no joke. He was shot at close range by an Airsoft AEG rifle at Lion Claws X, which is a large Airsoft game event that occurred last weekend. Take a shot like that to the eye without proper eye protection and you're done. Pick out your favorite eye patch because you're down to one eye and deficient depth perception for the rest of your life, assuming no other complications arise from having your eye removed.
Imagine if a child were to get a hold of a neon-colored Airsoft rifle that shoots 480 fps with a .20g, just like the power behind my current Airsoft M14. That rifle is still just as dangerous as it would be if it were colored like the real thing. To adapt a common phrase, it might not "look like a duck" anymore, but it still acts just like one and, therefore, it's probably STILL a duck. It's pretty clear that the politicians behind this bill, with Senator Kevin de Leon leading the charge, do NOT have a proper understanding of the environment they're trying to alter. It is essential that ALL of us make an effort to politely attempt to educate the government officials tasked with making the decision on SB 798. If each one of us were to make a relatively small amount of effort to contact the California Assembly members, specifically the seven members currently sitting on the Committee for Public Safety, and provide them with accurate information about the guns they are trying to classify as toys, our chances of defeating this bill would be greatly increased. While Airsoft guns are extremely fun and exciting to use, their dangers and level of responsibility associated with ownership should NOT be overlooked or simply swept under a brightly neon-colored rug.
I'm sure you're fed up with hearing this same sort of argument from the hundreds of websites that are now discussing it, but apparently you're not fed up enough to voice your opposition to the bill because word on the street is that Sacramento hasn't heard much more than a peep from voters. Apparently they haven't been contacted by very many of you out there. This makes me sad.
June 14, 2011 is the new hearing date set for CA 798 to be read.
Don't just sit there. Do something. In fact, just click and fill out your name and email. Pyramyd will do the rest on your behalf. I'm not sure they could have made it any easier.
If you're in Southern California, come to the grand opening of the new SC Viper Airsoft field tomorrow in Corona, CA and sign the petition that's been circulating around. I will be there. I'll probably be the tallest guy there. Come say hi.